The El Paso Independent School District joined a number of other El Paso area school districts in submitting a waiver request to the Texas Education Agency earlier this month to slow down the return to in-person learning in the district's classrooms. Because of the dangerously rising COVID-19 numbers locally, EPISD officials wanted to have their students stay on a remote learning course until health conditions improve. Unfortunately, those numbers have hit record highs for the past 13 days and they don't seem to be abating anytime soon. EPISD had already scheduled two intersession breaks in this year's school calendar just in case they needed to do something to counteract rising COVID-19 numbers. The fall intercession was scheduled for this month but was extended by using the time that was allotted for a spring intercession in March.

EPISD officials heard back from the Texas Education Agency on Monday afternoon, but their answer to the waiver request wasn't exactly what they were looking for. The TEA agreed to an extension of only two weeks which means that classrooms in the district must reopen by November 9. Only the families who chose for their kid to go back to in-person learning will have to return to the classroom. If you opted for your child to stay at home for virtual learning, they will continue online.

The waiver has to be voted on locally by the EPISD board of trustees which will happen on Tuesday, October 20. The TEA told district officials that they will monitor the COVID-19 situation in El Paso on a week-to-week basis, but because the situation may change at the last minute, teachers and students might not have that much time to react to any new guidelines from the TEA and EPISD, so you're going to have to stay on your toes about what is happening day-to-day.

We here at KISS FM are working every day to keep you up-to-date about the changes being made and will put out information as soon as we get it to help keep you informed.